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SNAFU, FUBAR, ClusterF–k: Welcome to the Rollout of the Affordable Care Act

Security vulnerabilities may make using the state insurance exchanges a crapshoot.

by
Rick Moran

Bio

August 9, 2013 - 12:42 am
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As we advance toward the much anticipated rollout of Obamacare on October 1, the true horror of what Congress and the president have wrought is beginning to sink in. There is a growing nervousness that the state insurance exchanges not only won’t be ready, but may harbor a dangerous vulnerability that would allow hackers access to the personal information of consumers who sign up for insurance via the sites.

There is also a growing number of Democrats who are advocating a repeal of one of Obamacare’s major pieces: the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which will arbitrarily rule on Medicare payments to doctors and hospitals. Howard Dean wrote in an op-ed last month that the IPAB would end up rationing healthcare for Medicare recipients and should be repealed. Also, in a vote last month, several Democrats broke from the pack and voted to delay the individual mandate for a year — the first real sign of dissension within the ranks, as vulnerable members search frantically for a way to avoid responsibility for their vote to enact Obamacare.

Then there’s the exemption for members of Congress and their staffs from some Obamacare requirements, while special rules have been written that would allow lawmakers to keep their generous tax-payer subsidy — up to 75% of their insurance premiums. Add that to the thousands of waivers granted to administration allies and large corporations who are exempted from the ACA for at least a year.

Beyond all of this, there is the threat that, in the process of trying to defund Obamacare, Republicans will force a government shutdown creating further chaos. A shutdown will not stop Obamacare from being implemented, but it will probably create additional confusion (if that’s possible) among consumers.

The U.S. military has come up with several euphemisms that are apt descriptions of what we might expect on October 1 and beyond with Obamacare’s rollout; SNAFU (“Situation Normal, All F–ked Up”), FUBAR (“Fu–ked Up Beyond All Recognition”), and the simple, declarative Clusterf–k. Given what we know, less than 60 days from the rollout, those may be some of the milder epithets we will hear from the American people once they begin to deal with the state exchanges, the Independent Payment Advisory Board, the IRS, HHS, and the insurance companies themselves.

Perhaps the most serious threat to the rollout is the inexplicable and incompetent manner in which the government is trying to ensure that a citizen’s personal information — massive amounts of which will be required to sign up for the insurance policies and get the subsidy — is protected and secure.

The news was dumped on an unsuspecting public last Friday, and it wasn’t until midweek that it began to sink in that the government geeks responsible for designing a secure website to handle all the private information of American citizens had fallen months behind in testing the sites’ vulnerability. At issue is the Federal Data Services Hub that will connect the various federal agencies to the exchanges and allow the flow of information necessary to service the consumer. An inspector general’s report revealed that a “security control assessment” scheduled for May still hasn’t been performed and that other critical tests have also been delayed. It is now expected that a final report on security won’t be forthcoming until September 20 at the earliest and that a decision on whether the exchanges are secure enough to open won’t be made until September 30 — one day before the sites go live.

As this Investor’s Business Daily editorial points out, the reason this comes as a surprise is because officials in the Obama administration lied to Congress about progress on securing the exchanges:

As far back as December 2012, Obama administration officials were insisting that the data hub at the center of the ObamaCare exchanges was nearly finished.

Yet all the while, they were pushing back deadlines or missing them altogether, to the point where, unless ObamaCare’s launch is delayed, millions of people’s privacy will be at risk.

Obama officials may, in fact, have flat-out lied to lawmakers about the data hub’s progress.

In February, Sen. Orrin Hatch pressed Gary Cohen — who is heading up much of the ObamaCare implementation efforts at the Health and Human Services Department — about the status of “service-level agreements” required with all the agencies before they can open their data to the hub. The agreements define services, responsibilities, performance and other terms for data sharing.

Hatch asked Cohen whether HHS had “signed service-level agreements with IRS, the Social Security Administration, homeland security and all the other agencies that will be providing information to the data hub.”

“We have,” Cohen said.

But at that time there were no service-level agreements in force, according to an inspector general report. HHS didn’t sign its first — with the IRS — until March. And all but two of the seven still haven’t been signed.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
I would love for someone to explain to me how the government thinks it can offset the higher costs of older people by having the 26 and under group still on their parents' insurance.

So, your going to fund "health insurance" on the backs of orphans. Right got it, no else saw this joke of a loop hole?
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
so tell me again how many doctors were added by the thousands of pages of obozocare-----was that a zero?

How many bureaucrats and IRS agents were added? was that a lot? Can those people treat your health care problems? Didn't think so.

So tell me again how spending so much money on no doctors, makes for better care? Excuse me, fell off my chair laughing at the idiocy of those making these rules.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama care will fail but not for the reasons you think.

Look at the system security problems w/Obamacare. Multiply that out by 10 to a 100. No one can develop a system this large and complex without a massive number of system crashing bugs.

Not IBM not any organization, much less the low cost bidder or the system development equivalent of Solyndra can do it.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (33)
All Comments   (33)
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The fact that we now live in a country that is dominated by a media culture fixated on the vapid and superficial is appalling, but it is what we have to deal with. The election of Obama is their crowning achievement. Their mission is to elect HRC in '16. It shouldn't be this way but it can't be changed, it must be dealt with. Throwing hissy fits and shutting down the government is exactly what they want because it presents an opportunity to throw more dung at the Republican brand. If the Tea Partiers are so eager to assert themselves, why aren't they going to court to invalidate an election that was only won because of the ruling party's corruption of government agencies? This would be something sensible and righteous and easily understood by the general public.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
The biggest fraud is their claim of consumers' "control" over who has access to their records. "Want this job (loan, apt., bank acct.)? Just sign this 'authorization.'"

Just as your S.S.# was NEVER to be used for I.D... This has never been even menntioned.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
I would love for someone to explain to me how the government thinks it can offset the higher costs of older people by having the 26 and under group still on their parents' insurance.

So, your going to fund "health insurance" on the backs of orphans. Right got it, no else saw this joke of a loop hole?
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
With all due respect to the author, this article is the perfect example of the defeatist mindset of many RINOs. The goal for the Republicans is NOT to shutdown the government. They simply will fund every part of the government EXCEPT any funding for Obamacare. The power of the purse is one of the few recourses the Republic holds against a lawless Executive branch. IF the government shuts down, it will ONLY be NON-essential employees anyway. The military, the social security, the medicare depts. will all still be in place. The government will NOT default on its creditors. These are all lies of the left that many on the right keep perpetuating by repeating them as fact. IF our elected officials do NOT defund Obamacare, then that proves they were never really against it in the first place. The votes to nowhere to defund it mean nothing. It's time for them to put up or shut up. And if they choose to let this horror of a law be enacted upon their constituents, they will prove themselves unfit for office and will be voted upon accordingly. The time has come for all true conservatives to look to the leadership of those TRUE CONSERVATIVES who have understanding of the Constitution (such as Mark Levin and Jim DeMint) and get on board and stand together. I love PJ Media, but this article is exactly the problem in conservatism today. Fear of being made to look like a bad guy. Here's a hint: The lying left is going to try and make us look bad NO MATTER WHAT WE DO, so how about standing up for LIBERTY for a change. If not now, we may never have to worry about doing it again, as the country will be too far gone to save it. This is the time, fellow Conservatives, that we MUST stand united with one vision and one voice.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's not the Republicans in Congress who would shut down the government. They would be using the power of the purse to pay for the implementation of a disaster in the making. It would be the administration that would shut down the government if Obama does not then sign the continuing resolution. He would do it in a fit of pique at not getting his own way. Sound familiar? Bill Clinton did the same thing years ago. The Republicans actually gained seats in the next election.

Quit supporting the namby-pamby RINO's, by claiming that the Republicans would cause chaos. The chaos comes from Obamacare.

BTW: I dislike the elephants about as much as I dislike the jack-asses. I like Lady Liberty. That is why I support defunding the continuing resolution, which all by itself is a disaster of the French Republicans' making. Hell of a way to fund the government!
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
circle-jerk?
shakedown?
chinese fire drill?
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
A government shut-down would not keep ACA from being implemented. The best hope is to keep The House, get The Senate and stop it. Let them begin to implement this idiotic power grab, with all its glaring unworkability. The more people see it the more they hate it. Republicans couldn't have come up with such a perfect wedge against the lefties if they'd tried. The Obama machine will be strangled by its own octopus.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
The good news is SkyNet has not become self aware ... or has it ?
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
It has as evidenced by the fact the IRS went after the TEA party groups. They didn't need instructions to know it would be bad for them.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
If we worshipped our president the way we should we would all live happy. Our savior Obama has been handed down to us and we need to change law so he can stay president for four to eight more year so his plan can be completed and we can be a rich nation again
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
so tell me again how many doctors were added by the thousands of pages of obozocare-----was that a zero?

How many bureaucrats and IRS agents were added? was that a lot? Can those people treat your health care problems? Didn't think so.

So tell me again how spending so much money on no doctors, makes for better care? Excuse me, fell off my chair laughing at the idiocy of those making these rules.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
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